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>"I think that can be arranged. Now, perhaps you wouldn't mind to help me with another little matter? Shall we step outside?"
> "What is it?" Nitori starts for the doorway.
>_
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Alice Quest - The Seven Colored Puppeteer's Weekend
« Last post by It's Purvis! on August 16, 2022, 10:47:40 PM »
>"I think that can be arranged. Now, perhaps you wouldn't mind to help me with another little matter? Shall we step outside?"
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Alright ~, game had potential, and it lived to it for the most part ; here's my critique of how it turned out, while keeping in mind previous titles such as UM and VD :

When it comes to this game's "Wave"'s pattern design, generally, with the exception of VD at large, spinoff titles usually have ridiculously hard attacks that possess both fast bullet speed and a particularly pronounced RNG reliance for the patterns : while randomness takes a large place in this game, patterns are actually VERY reasonable and quite consistent : understanding patterns is rewarded since the various patterns you see won't radically transform even in their harder variations ; and for the mixed bullet patterns, while there doesn't seem to be a conscentious change in pattern A and pattern B's behavior when they interract (unlike how some nightmare week in VD patterns were handled for the sake of balance), you pretty much will never get a true RNG wall.

The new Magic gimmick this time also works quite well with this game's intended design : while later market attacks can be super difficult, the bullet slowing effect gives you control over the bullets : it's like you have a button that enables a Youmu slowdown effect in a limited area at your convenance. This adds a bizarre but welcome bullet management aspect to the game, where you can pretty much never be truly treatened so long as you properly use your magic, notably in some bosses puzzle patterns with actual walls (Komachi, Sanae, Clownpiece) which are clearly balanced around the use of Magic ; while you can still cuck yourself over brainless use of Magic, as it can create walls where doesn't need to be (for example against Mamizou, Suika, and some intense Wave patterns combos).

The simple use of the X button is very reasonable for a game where reliance on its main gimmick is to be expected. The magic gimmick is extremely important in this game since it's what'll mainly earn you the Bullet Money that you buy the cards with, and once proper understanding of its proper use will MASSIVELY reward. However, the value you can get from proper magic use is only proportionnal to the amount of bullets that'll come your way per wave : with magic, the difficult patterns becomes not only manageable, but will also reward you with some fat loot, but easier patterns with scarce amount of bullets just don't give you much opportunity to farm much money. Easier patterns are generally reasonnable for tutorial and earlier stages, but in this game, I feel like these easier patterns don't show you how the farming game gets properly played. The game may be about the cards like in UM, but in actuality, the Magic system is the most important feature this time.

Still regarding the magic system, while proper use of it translates into massive Bullet Money gains, the lack of a proper score-like score is like both a good and bad thing. It's bad cuz a lack of score means that scoreruns becomes inexistant and that drastically reduces the replayability of the game outside of the farming for card aspect ; and it's good in the sense where we don't get a repeat of UM scoring where you cross your finger and hope for Mokou's card to suicide more, even moreso since this time there are quite a few cards that directly affects the quality of Magic.

And speaking of cards, while I like the fact that we can buy a maximum of 3 so long as we can afford any, I personally am not a fan of the fact that the black market cards have to be bought before being included in the pool of randomly available selection of cards. To illustrate : the game has a MASSIVE amount of new cards, but the general pool of cards that are randomly available at all time are pretty much the only thing you'll get to play with most of the time : simply unlocking a new card normally requires completing a market THEN hoping a new card show up. The problem is that most of the cards are NOWHERE AS GOOD AS THE GENERAL POOL CARDS IN THE LONG RUN, as the general pool cards, specifically the passive ones, are STACKABLE : more cards overall is interesting, but it is actually not so rewarding when the default cards that are available at all time allows you to pretty much reach god mode when they reach their full potential / are fully stacked.

Furthermore, the replaying-in-order-to-unlock-more-cards aspect can make this game super repetitive, especially for the earlier stages : the first market has like 22 card to be unlocked : that means playing the first market 22 times. Which means 30 seconds X 3 waves + however long it takes to beat the boss 22 times. Now project that unto later stages.  This game has a lot of patterns, but not enough to give you something novel every single time. This game has a learning aspect, but for the earlier markets, where you don't deal with mixed patterns, the skill cap required to approach attacks is much lower, and the learning needed to understanding patterns is super low. And while it will always be nice to try the new cards you unlock,  I feel like not really knowing how it actually works is kinda ehhh. Imo it would have been better if all the cards that could be unlocked in the first market were straight up available in a first market exclusive random card pool, and so for the 2nd, the 3rd and the other market AND the Challenge mMarket ; and I think it would also be slightly more convenient if upon the first clearing a market, you unlock a whole bunch of new cards, just like how you unlock a bunch of cards once you clear the tutorial.

To illustrate, let's take the Challenge market for example : the cards that'll pop up in its black market are the general pool cards plus whichever cards you've unlocked after stages : I can totally picture a player who went straight to the end of the game get to pick nothing but the same old cards everytime. Things honestly could have been more interesting if cards that you haven't unlocked could be picked up in the black market imo.

Replaying is fine and all, but replaying the earlier markets can get too repetitive and relatively dull, since there's not a lot of bullet anyway. The way cards get unlocked make it so that it takes time before you'll be able to go for a proper build of such or such kind, as you won't randomly find for example an equipment card to go with your weapon equipment DPS build until you've randomly picked it up in the exact market where it happens to be available.

Anyway, speaking of the cards in general, just like in UM, I feel like there is no truly bad card. Some cards were obviously rebalanced in light of how they fared in UM and also in order to fit beter with this new game, although I feel like some balance changes are not really sensible. Take for example the famous Vampire fang from UM : in UM it was super cheap, had a super low cooldown, and dealt Morbid amound of damage. Clearly ZUN took note of how absurdly good it was and made it costlier with a higher cooldown in this game. The problem, however, is that damage is NOT very valuable in this game. In the context of mainline Touhou games, damage is good since it kills fairies and bosses quick, which means less bullets to threaten you. In this game, however, mobs have TONS of health, and are pretty much guaranteed to shoot bullets at you. Likewise for bosses, who cannot be expected to go down super quick. Something like that could be said about the Subterranean Sun card, which lost most of its duration in exchange for more burst damage, or even the Centipede passive card. Damage dealing actives do not provide much utility in this gameaside from dealing some damage since there will ALWAYS be bullets, and their rebalanced cost and cooldown honestly do not seem pertinent to me in this game, even moreso due to the fact that they take A LOT of space in your loadout.

I say damage is a bit weak in this game, but a dedicated damage build more than solve that issue, even more so with the new damaging equipment cards plus the fact that you DON'T LOSE POWER when you die. That is a nice idea we could have made use of one year and a few months ago. Later stages are difficult, but just like in UM, cards are generally good enough that they practically lower the difficulty.

And still on the topic of cards, another potential issue is the fact the magic system is so good and so rewarding that you really don't have a reason NOT to pick cards that improve it further : it's a bit reminiscent of UM's scoring system, where the Mallet was too centralizing to an unhealthy degree, leading to go Sakuya-Mallet-Scroll-Barley Rice + suicide for bombs and hoping to randomly chance upon Mokou card : the lack of a proper score system means that you don't have to build exclusively around the magic system this time, but even so it's RIDICULOUSLY GOOD : it slows the bullets (or stop em entirely if you equipped Urumi's card), can be SPAMMED when you've fully stacked your Aunn cards, has MASSIVE REACH when you've fully stacked your Byakuren cards, WORKS AS A DEFACTO BOMB when you've got your Flandre cards rolling, can even be used for damage with the Patchouli cards, and more importantly bacomes EVEN BETTER AT FARMING BULLET MONEY if you max any of the stats pertaining to your magic and therefore allows you to get other cards. These cards are so common that you're probably gonna run into them too. Imo, other cards would be interesting too if they could be stacked the way these available-since-the-beginning-general-pool-cards are. Reaching godmode always count as part of the fun in these build strengthtening games, allowing the truly broken strats only for the magic system not only encourages one particular playstyle, but also feel like it takes away from the other cards, which is a bit of a shame. Only a conscious desicion to NOT use the X button is what'll provide you with an alternative experience, and doing just that misses you so much bullet money to buy funny cards with.

Anyway, while there are some aspects of the game that looks bad when I put them this way, these will probably only appear if you're playing the game with a min-maxing and efficiency mindset. This game seems to encourage something that could-have-been a scoring machanism. With a casual approach, I'm not so sure if non-score thinking regular players would instantly figure the best way to abuse this game.

And finally, on the bosses pattern designs, as expected, it's like in VD where the attacks are similar to something you've previously seen. This is not really a big deal IMO even less so since not only there is a respectable number of new attacks or at the very least slight changes in the attacks ; but you also get to tackle them with new ways thanks to the magic you can use and the cards you have at hand : it's like UM gameplay gets extended to other games, or something around these lines.

And last but not least, par for the course for any Touhou game discussion, the music. I typed enough crap already, so I'll say straight up that I enjoyed it. Not my favorite in terms of OST, but a lovely addition nonetheless. The wave boss themes are pretty short, which surprised me, and they don't arguably sound menacingly boss like imo. Personally I think it would have OK if ZUN used Lunatic Dreamer for places other than the tutorial (underrated song imo). My favorites themes for this game would be the later market stages themes (100th black market something something), the previous wave theme about balck market happening anywhere anytime, and the later market boss theme. Also nice screen title theme, but honestly it's pretty hard to top VD's title screen.

So yeah, all in all, pretty nice game, although it's pretty short and I don't think it's got much replayability outside of how it was designed (as in, replaying to unlock cards), especially if you're coming at it with a completionist mindset, since all the achievements are acquired once you unlock every card.

A few minor takeaways :
-New modern portrait for Nitori
-The big bad cat turns out to be Takane, lol. It makes sense plot wise, but I like the goth Chimata theories better, that would have been funny
-Tsukasa gets a spellcard background
-OFFICIAL NAMES FOR MOBS ?!
-I like this new character called Crown Peace, but chara design looks like it could have been copy pasted from someone else's
-More of Ki-san's artwork, I like how she make the fairies look like dolls
-English in game text to save us without moon runephile deciphering  eyes



I also appreciate how ZUN released the game on steam just after allowing people to buy more than 1 physical copies (as in, baiting scalpers). Mans make a game about black market but chooses to troll the true black hearted marketeers's black market, what a chad
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Neo Gensokyo Quest - Part 4
« Last post by Philosopher on August 16, 2022, 02:54:39 PM »
Seki
>Did anything happen with our magic
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Neo Gensokyo Quest - Part 4
« Last post by Kilgamayan on August 16, 2022, 02:40:38 PM »
Aya:

> "Alright, I won't push you further on the matter."
> Give Utsuho a wind-order to dunk the rest of herself all the way into our chest.

Ami:

> Fire a ling of horizontal bullets at the dolls holding the blonde up.
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Neo Gensokyo Quest - Part 4
« Last post by Neovereign on August 16, 2022, 02:30:32 PM »
Ami:

> At what body level are the dolls holding the blonde up?
> Does the blonde appear mobile again?
Seki
>Try flowing magic through our left arm, through the air, and our right arm.

>"Must be first impressions and Chilly not freezing people."
Ami:

> Upper back. Her shoulders pretty much.
> You'd bet such rather than against it.
> The devil spreads out a few books, readying on their own without a doll, it seems.

Seki:

> You get a feel for your magic while the two groups fight. Or at least try to...
> "She doesn't look like she even can." Sakuya comments.
>_
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Alice Quest - The Seven Colored Puppeteer's Weekend
« Last post by Neovereign on August 16, 2022, 02:18:08 PM »
>"What if she came down here?"
> "Thatd be better."
>_
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I've updated the OP link with chapter 7. This one covers Alice's dungeon. The shop also gets new items at this point. I've translated the single cutscene leading into the Electronics District (the area leading into the shop), but outside of obviously translating the cutscenes in Alice's dungeon, none of the other various cutscenes you can trigger by visiting different areas/resting at the shrine are in English yet, so be careful if you want to save them for viewing in the next update.

Speaking of the next update, I full-well intend to finish this project, but it's a large one so I'm putting it on hold for a while to work on some other things. I'll come back to it eventually. This chapter wraps up the first act of the game, and second act 2 is much less linear, I'm going to release it all at once in the next patch.
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You say it's canon that Marisa had never beaten Reimu, but if anything the fact that Marisa has master spark would lead one to assume she won the fight in Lotus Land Story (though Yuka acknowledges having seen both of them before in PoFV). In general I think that it's impossible to definitively make an account of any game's events outside of the Tasofro ones (and even then IaMP's routes are all mutually exclusive). Reimu "helped" the eagle spirit, sure, but she helped all of them by fulfilling their collective goal - you can't really use Yuuma's statement to say Reimu Eagle was the canon route, or even that Reimu was the only one who got involved in the incident. And so far as Sakuya's route in IN, her article in BAiJR had her shiftily denying she was involved, and arguably the scarlet team's ending was the catalyst for Remilia's desire to go to the moon.

Anyway, what I mean to say is that outside of very specific examples, you should tend towards skepticism on being able to pin any one thing as absolute. The timeline of events is intentionally vague so no one route is more canon than the other, so we should avoid drawing conclusions where they aren't irrefutable (like, sadly, Marisa's route not being canon in 17.5).
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Rumia's Party Games / Re: Doll Quest - Foundation
« Last post by Branneg Xy on August 15, 2022, 06:42:50 PM »
> "Me testing the theory is still useful for my purposes. We should just keep the theory away from Ellen. Or Marisa."

> "Grimoires are an artifact specifically used by Magicians, or those attempting to emulate them." Patchouli explains, giving Marisa a quick glance. "They are stores of magical knowledge. There are other sorts of magical artifacts and foci that may be used by other magic-users, but those are more used to empower the magic-user. Not as a magical record like Grimoires. Grimoires contain power; yes, but more importantly; they hold knowledge."

> "Knowledge is power; after all." Narumi adds.

> Marisa mentioned seeing Akyuu as her next move in the morning for information about anything else relating to this "Makai"; or who may be connected to the incident, as she "chronicles" Gensokyo's History, so may have something stored in that record of use.

//Feel free to add that" we better stay longer ",or similar,if there is somethings here I have //

> If there are no questions or observations, thank the others for their assistance and proceed to leave with Byakuren whenever she is ready so we can get back&report to Reisen and Reimu.
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